Barney the Dinosaur redesign has the internet roaring

If there's one thing guaranteed to get the internet riled up, it's the redesign of a beloved children's character. From Minnie Mouse to, er, the Green M&M, anthropomorphised objects and animals have been getting all sorts of tweaks lately – and not even Barney the Dinosaur is safe.

Mattel has revealed an updated look for a new, animated Barney – and everyone's favourite purple dinosaur has certainly had what one might call a "glow up". And that's exactly what's making some fans roar with anger. Maybe Mattel forgot to check out our roundup of the best character design tips.

Barney the dinosaur

The new Barney  (Image credit: Mattel/Future)

"In creating the new series, it was important to us that we properly reflect the world that kids today live in so that the series can deliver meaningful lessons about navigating it,” Mattel announced. "With our modern take on Barney, we hope to inspire the next generation to listen, care, and dream big. We think that parents, many of whom will fondly remember the original Barney from their own childhoods, will love the show, too."

Barney the Dinosaur

The old Barney (Image credit: Mattel)

While Barney was traditionally a costume worn by an actor (sorry if that secret's just ruined your childhood), Mattel has announced that a new CGI version will debut on "television, film, and YouTube" soon – presumably once he's managed to pay off what must be a hefty plastic surgery bill. (Insert 'dino-plasty' joke here.)

Gone are the character's signature chubby cheeks, whiter are his teeth, smaller is his nose, and there's even evidence of an eyebrow lift. And as you might expect, the whole thing is proving positively blasphemous on Twitter. 

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Of course, many of the responses are light-hearted – while it's a little jarring to see a beloved childhood get such a radical makeover, I'd say the designers have done a pretty good job modernising what was essentially a pretty shonky, chonky costume. At least with those new eyes, Barney looks somewhat awake.

Still, this one's definitely up there with Ms Pac-Man, the Green M&M and Minnie Mouse when it comes to controversial character redesigns – but hey, at least we're scrutinising the appearance of a male character this time around. 

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).